My Political Diary – Day 25
By Segun Odegbami
This past week I got my first taste of the shenanigans in Nigerian politics.
I had been expecting that side of things, of course.
Everyone had warned me since the day it became public that I was venturing into that murky world of lies, deceit, corruption, treachery, endless demand and quest for money, unconscionable horse trading, decisions laced with venom, and so on, things that have impoverished a very rich country and made it one of the poorest, through its decadent politics.
Bob Dee, in particular, had taken me through his own shocking experience that left me wondering if such conduct was really possible.
This week, it happened to me, even though I’d rather not completely narrate here.
My diary should not detail such perfidy.
Permit me, therefore, to summarise in the following carefully chosen words.
I have concluded that everything in life is connected; that nothing happens by accident but by a divine script; that life is like a jigsaw puzzle.
My experience this week is for a purpose, an essential addition to my political learning curve, divine pieces of lessons fitting into the puzzle that will produce a new Ogun State.
The elements have not led me this far to fear or to turn back as a result of ordinary sentiment-driven obstacles, but to discover and to experience vital things wherever they lead me.
I have learnt to surrender to them, to be guided and to be used by the Creator of the Universe, who knows all things, inorder to fulfil a divinely constructed purpose.
The past few days have tested my principles and beliefs, and stretched my patience and resolve to their elastic limit.
Fortunately, by virtue of my attitude to seemingly negative events, as I write this, I am more excited than ever about the march to Oke Mosan simply because there is nothing in the horizon that is clear or comprehensible. Beyond human comprehension only unprecedented confusion reigns everywhere.
The Labour Party primaries for the governorship position in Ogun State should have taken place last Wednesday, one week after a similar one took place by special arrangement in Kwara State. I was in Ilorin to learn, observe and to report it.
The date and a special arrangement were agreed strategically following several discussions held to protect the ‘star’ candidate in the Party.
On the eve of the election, designed to be a relatively quiet affair, I enter Abeokuta.
The atmosphere around town is still charged and chaotic with uncertainty. Everyone is fed up with the endless conflicts.
I am assured everything is in place for the event the following day, following the fulfillment of all my obligations and all righteousness – relevant fees paid, my part in the arrangements completed, and a verbal assurance from the leadership that all is well, no shaking!
Wednesday arrives quietly.
Something is not right.
It is too quiet.
I can’t reach the party leadership. They won’t pick my calls and won’t respond to my text, all day.
I send emissaries to the venue.
Nothing is happening.
It is empty.
Clearly, no primary election is scheduled for that day.
It takes all day and frantic calls to every top person I know in the party to get a response about what is going on – nothing!
So, I calm down and choose to wait for word from the one person who holds the key to this entire mystery.
No word comes from him. So, I choose to wait. But not forever.
It has been four days since that day. I have returned to the deep, rerunning the whole series of events again in my head, and sharing them with a few others.
I have more clarity now about what took place and the political games being played with me as a pawn.
So, its time to follow my instincts again as well as the leading of the One who knows all things.
In the chaotic political labyrinth in the whole of Yorubaland, when simple words stop been bonds, where does one turn to for a compass to the future?
I had asked myself that question, over and over again, before settling for the platform that birthed my political career, that served me a great purpose, and has taken me as far as it can go, but, surely, not to the destination I seek.
I have now humbly surrendered my path once again to the elements and shall not question the new path that Labour Party has chosen that is different from mine.
So, that chapter temporarily closes for me, even though the journey to One Mosan continues with even greater vigour.
Today is Saturday.
I am led to seek out the only person who I believe can answer my question; the one on whose political altar most Yoruba ‘worship’; the one who represents the best version of Yoruba leadership.
In the past six months I have reached out to several people that knew or worked with the great man during his life time. None of them gave me a definitive response.
Last night it all came to me in one moment of absolute conviction.
It makes absolute sense – to ask the man himself.
The man lies peacefully in a Mausoleum in Ikenne. He must be stirring in his grave at the narrow interests and vision of political leaders that have either ignorantly or selfishly truncated the once- glorious future of the Yoruba who now wander lost in political limbo.
That’s where I am heading to now, to Ikenne, brimming with excitement at the prospect of the answer I will receive when I finally ask Chief Jeremiah Obafemi Awolowo himself my million-Dollar question: What will you do Sir were you to be alive today in Ogun State?
His answer will inform what I will do going forward on this political odyssey.